PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Apple’s Tap to Cash Lets Users Pay By Touching iPhones

Apple’s new iPhone update will include a new way for users to transmit funds.

In addition to the various AI announcements the tech giant made at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Monday (June 10), Apple also unveiled some updates to Apple Pay, including a feature called that will come with iOS18 dubbed “Tap to Cash.”

“Users get new ways to pay with Apple Pay, including the ability to redeem rewards and access installments from their eligible credit or debit cards,” the company’s announcement said.

“With Tap to Cash, users can send and receive Apple Cash by simply holding two iPhone devices together.”

Apple is also updating event tickets in the Apple Wallet, giving users more details about said events from participating ticket issuers, like information about the venue and recommended playlists from Apple Music.

The announcement comes at a time when — as noted here last week — digital wallets are growing in popularity.

Federal Reserve data shows that a stunning 84% of all payments made last year came from alternative, non-cash methods.

In addition, the PYMNTS Intelligence report “Digital Bill Payments: Mobile Wallets Gain Popularity, but Hurdles Remain” showed that 60% of consumers used mobile wallets to pay their bills in 2023, a 22% increase from the prior year.

And when it comes to digital wallet purchases by retail shoppers, Apple Pay has begun overtaking PayPal, according to additional PYMNTS Intelligence research, even before the introduction of the new “Tap to Cash” option. 

“The study found that, at the start of 2022, PayPal was retail customers’ digital wallet of choice, and it was not even close,” PYMNTS wrote last week. “However, in the time since, Apple Pay has taken the lead. The Apple-owned digital wallet briefly surpassed the former favorite online payments system in the first quarter of last year before falling behind again.”

But as of the first quarter of 2024, Apple was ahead, with that lead continuing to grow during the second quarter of the year. During that quarter, 12% of consumers had made their most recent retail purchase with a digital wallet, around 6% using Apple Pay, and 4% via PayPal.

And Apple is seeing this adoption rise.

“There are some categories that are growing very fast, … because they are relatively smaller in the scheme of our services business, like cloud, video, payment services. Those all set all-time revenue records,” Apple CFO Luca Maestri said during the company’s last earnings call.